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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Pinch hitting: Mark Braff

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 29, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Our next pinch hitter is Mark Braff, who has the background to give an educated evaluation of a Yankee Stadium tradition: Old Timer’s Day.

Mark is a lifelong Yankees fan and the president of Braff Communications LLC, a public relations firm based in Fair Lawn, NJ. He counts among his greatest Yankee thrills seeing Mickey Mantle hit two home runs in the regular season game that followed the 1968 Old Timer’s Day event.

For more on that day, here’s Mark’s post.

———

On July 4, 1939, the Yankees honored their dying captain with Lou Gehrig Day. A crowd of nearly 62,000 watched as an assemblage of past and present Yankees paid tribute to Gehrig, whose words that day still resonate as “Baseball’s Gettysburg Address.”

Beyond Gehrig’s poignant remarks, the day is memorable for another reason as it is generally regarded as the catalyst for a Yankee Stadium tradition, Old Timer’s Day.

The first “official” Old Timer’s Day was held several years later, in 1946, and has continued as an annual celebration ever since. Other teams have held similar events over the years, but today the Yankees stand as one of the few that continue the tradition. That’s as it should be, since the history of the Yankee franchise is so deeply intertwined with the history of baseball itself.

There is just one problem. The Yankees are killing Old Timer’s Day.

Having attended every Old Timer’s Day since 1968, I have witnessed first-hand how the Yankees have slowly but inexorably scratched away at the luster of the event. Yes, it is still a special day at The Stadium, but there is no denying that it is a shell of what it once was, and the sad thing is that it doesn’t have to be this way — especially, and perhaps ironically, now that the Yankees are in their new home.

I remember being in awe at my very first Old Timer’s Day, when I entered the big ballpark and looked up at the Yankees’ World Series championship banners and American League pennants hung from the frieze (more commonly known as the “façade”). The banners stretched all the way from the 1923 flag in right field to the 1964 flag in left. I imagine that sight was as impressive to the Yankees players and the Old Timer’s in attendance as it was to me, a 12-year-old kid.

The Yankees-Twins game was preceded by a star-studded event that featured former Yankee players as well as those from opposing teams. From the opposing team alone there were – get this – 11 current and future Hall of Famers: Luke Appling, Bob Feller, Lefty Grove, Frankie Frisch, Pie Traynor, Joe Cronin, Goose Goslin, Early Wynn, Joe Medwick, Larry Doby and Roy Campanella. The Yankees were represented by the likes of Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Earle Combs, Whitey Ford, Lefty Gomez, Phil Rizzuto and Waite Hoyt—Hall of Famers all.

I know these HOFers were there, not from memory, but by looking at the souvenir pamphlet, an inexpensive 11×17, one-color, folded keepsake that the Yankees gave to every fan in attendance. The souvenir reminds me that Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians entertained fans before the ceremonies began.

Unfortunately, Lombardo might as well have played Auld Lang Syne since Old Timer’s Day was on the verge of having its heartbeat stopped.

Here’s how it happened.

Somewhere along the line, in the 1980’s or so, the Yankees decided “we don’t want their kind” when it came to inviting players from opposing teams. Old Timer’s Day became a Yankee-only affair.

After moving into the renovated Yankee Stadium in 1976, the Yankees for a time hung a few select championship banners on the outfield fence during Old Timer’s Day, something they started doing during their two-year stint at Shea Stadium in 1974 and ’75. A short time later, the banners disappeared into the same netherworld as the opposing stars.

And, so, today we have an all-Yankee Old Timer’s Day featuring an inordinate number of old bench and role players along with some stars. And, of course, no banners.

Now, let me be clear in saying that I like Jim Mason, Phil Linz and players of their ilk as much as the next guy, and in fact have fond memories of their time in pinstripes. But, seriously, do we need 15 “Jim Masons” every year?

Things have gotten so bad that thousands of ticket-holders do not even bother to attend the Old Timer’s festivities, choosing instead to arrive in time to only witness the regular season game. It saddens me to see a half-empty ballpark staring back at the players as they are introduced.

It’s time to restore Yankee Stadium Old Timer’s Day to its rightful place as a premiere event; indeed, the largest gathering of Hall of Famers outside of Cooperstown. And here’s how:

First, now that the frieze (façade) is once again a signature element of Yankee Stadium, it’s time to haul out the banners for at least this one day every year. At this point, the American League pennants can be kept in storage since 27 World Champion flags should stretch nicely from right to left field. Imagine the sight!

Second, back when Old Timer’s Day was a big deal, every year had a theme, whether it was the 25th anniversary of this, the 40th anniversary of that, etc. For weeks leading up to the event, Yankee broadcasters would talk about the theme and mention that so-and-so “just accepted his invitation to attend this year’s event.” This would build for a few weeks; the list would grow and fans had something to get excited about. Today, the advance promotion is basically this: “July 19 is Old Timer’s Day. Come join us for this special occasion.” Pardon me for yawning. Let’s get back to having a theme.

Third, let’s acknowledge that there were great players on other teams and invite some of these stars to the event. How great would it be to see all-time Yankee opponents like Sandy Koufax, Frank Robinson, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Bob Gibson, Johnny Bench, Carl Yastrzemski, Boog Powell and the like emerging once again from the third base dugout at the “home office of baseball?” And, yes, let’s invite Bill Mazeroski back too.

These three simple steps would restore the grandeur to a Yankee tradition. The Yankees spent great treasure on building a new ballpark that evokes some of the signature elements of the original, pre-renovated Stadium. The easiest things to replicate are the ones they ignored: A few banners and the players – for and against — who gave the fans so many great moments and thrills over the years.

Oh, and one more thing: Is it asking too much to be given a cheap keepsake program?

Comments

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176 Responses to “Pinch hitting: Mark Braff”

  1. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day January 29th, 2010 at 9:37 am

    I love seeing Yankee old-timers on that special day, even the players who weren’t that good; I see no reason that the Yankees shouldn’t have their own day to honor those who wore the pinstripes.

  2. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day January 29th, 2010 at 9:38 am

    No thanks on having a theme. Without meaning to offend, I don’t see why every event has to be updated to make it more relevant or more exciting. Old Timer’s Day is what it is and I’m fine with it remaining just this way.

  3. Erin January 29th, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Nice job Mark

    Personally though, I don’t have a problem with how the Yankees do Old Timer’s Day.

  4. SJ44 January 29th, 2010 at 9:39 am

    I go back to when every team had Old Timers Days.

    Now, only the Yankees have it.

    Its always my favorite day of the year at the Stadium.

    Very nice piece!

  5. mick January 29th, 2010 at 9:39 am

    we live in a theme park world

  6. mick January 29th, 2010 at 9:43 am

    one of the greatest, if not the greatest, was the 99 allstar game at fenway when superstars , past and present, graced the field, from Teddy Ballgame , Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, on and on, Gibson, Koufax, only wish The Mick could have been there.

  7. Yankees rule January 29th, 2010 at 9:44 am

    OMG there are other great players besides The New York Yankees? Yankees stadium honors Yankees greats, let MLB do the other!!

    The All Star Showcases all the current playing greats.
    MLB should showcase the Old Timer who played in the MLB.

  8. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day January 29th, 2010 at 9:49 am

    SJ, I lump the media all in together because I haven’t seen anyone not blaming the Yankees in some way. Your post was spot on, so I don’t think the Yanks deserve any approbation from anyone. If I’ve missed any expert that has not knocked the Yanks, I apologize, but the ones I’m aware of have basically killed the Yankees.

    As to Boras, I generally agree that teams/agents can’t afford to take things personally – and I’m sure he and Cash will work together in the future and things will be fine. That said, I wonder if Cash is now going to resent Boras for basically refusing to negotiate with him (and also for charging the Yankees a ridiculous premium for Nady of all players) re: Damon.

    Frank, that “miscalculated” comment from Rosenthal is asinine.

    Doreen, Damon should been more assertive and that’s why I don’t blame Boras completely. On the other hand, maybe Johnny did buy into Boras’ thinking and honestly did want the most $$, no matter where it came from. If that’s the case, then he was never going to approach the Yankees. The Yankees should have no regrets even if Winn doesn’t pan out – there’s just nothing they could have done in this case.

  9. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day January 29th, 2010 at 9:50 am

    I do love seeing older players honored, so if the Yankees wanted to do a day separately for them, I’m fine with that……but definitely keep the Yankees Old-Timer’s day

  10. m1kew January 29th, 2010 at 9:51 am

    I hope there is someone within the Yankee hierarchy reading this article. What the poster says make a huge amount of sense and would only enhance the aura that surrounds being a Yankee or even a Yankee fan.

  11. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Sorry to say, but, the Jim Masons and Phil Linzes are pretty much all that’s left of those teams. You’ll have the Boutons and Pepitones, the Berras and the Fords, but, for older fans, they are disappearing at a far too rapid rate and that’s a pity. at one time, NYY would bring in their retired galaxy of stars to face the legends of all the other teams. That’s what they need to get back to.

  12. SJ44 January 29th, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Betsy,

    There is no bad blood between Cashman and Boras. Its all part of the game.

    They were more ticked off at him over the Gerrit Cole stuff than they were over the Damon negotiations and they got over it.

    It really isn’t smart business for the GM of the Yankees to be in a feud with a guy who represents the guys Boras has.

    You just roll with the punches and move onto the next negotiations.

    There won’t be any lingering feelings from this.

  13. randy l. January 29th, 2010 at 9:56 am

    “At this point, the American League pennants can be kept in storage since 27 World Champion flags should stretch nicely from right to left field. Imagine the sight!”

    “How great would it be to see all-time Yankee opponents like Sandy Koufax, Frank Robinson, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Bob Gibson, Johnny Bench, Carl Yastrzemski, Boog Powell and the like emerging once again from the third base dugout at the “home office of baseball?”

    mark-

    excellent ideas.

    can you imagine pedro martinez in a few years coming out of the visiting dugout and pitching to tino, brosious, oneil, posada etc ?

    i really like the flag idea too. even though young fans understand baseball was played before their lives, i think the actual flags would really show how the torch is passed from generation to generation. it’d be great theatre.

  14. 86w183 January 29th, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Mark —-

    I enjoyed the post. I was at BOTH of Mickey’s 2-HR games in 1968. He went 5-5 with 2 HR on Memorial Day in the first game of a doubleheader against Washington. HE also hit 2 doubles and I cried when he didn’t play in game two (I was ten).

    If I remember correctly the other game was against the Twins and the HR were both lasers, one to LF and one to RF.

    Old Timer’s Day was a favorite of mine, but as I prepare to turn 52 this summer it’s just a sad reminder that I am not older than at least half of the “Old Timer’s”

  15. stuckey January 29th, 2010 at 10:00 am

    So what will be the dominant talk for the next 3 (ish) weeks.

    - Whether the Yanks try to bring back Wang?

    - Who starts in leftfield and more “can Gardner be an everyday player” debate?

    - [Gasp] Hughes and Chamberlain and who goes to the pen?

  16. 86w183 January 29th, 2010 at 10:06 am

    I meant I am NOW older than many of the “Old Timer’s”

  17. Bronx Jeers January 29th, 2010 at 10:09 am

    I’m just glad it wasn’t another sabremetrics post.

    Old Timers Day is great but I’m sure they could do it better. They certainly could add the banners or something that helps transport fans into the past as they have already set the precedent with the “Back to the old look- in with the new” new version of the Stadium.

    As far as adding the great players from other teams, well I get the feeling that those days are over. The old old-timers are probably to old and the new ones probably consider themselves “HOF free agents” so you know what that means.

    Also, you don’t miss what you never experienced and you have to be at least on the precipice of middle-aged to remember those days of yore.

  18. Jerry-NJ January 29th, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Interesting thoughts Mark… I’ve always been a huge fan of OT Day – I can’t understand why other teams don’t do it anymore, at least every other year or so… I think in general the Yankees do a very good job with OT Day, I don’t think much needs to change, but the banners would be a nice touch.

  19. Captain Chaos January 29th, 2010 at 10:12 am

    A product of the same era, keeping in touch with the past stars was part of what my grandfather and I would talk about. It is this connectivity that helped cement a relationship that still brings a smile when I thing of my grandfather. I think Mark hit the nail on the head and I sure hope someone out there is paying attention as this is how future generations of fanatical Yankee fans are born!!!!!!

  20. Erin January 29th, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Bronx Jeers
    January 29th, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Also, you don’t miss what you never experienced and you have to be at least on the precipice of middle-aged to remember those days of yore.

    *************************
    Great point- that’s why I have no problems with how they do it now. :)

  21. Irabu's Son January 29th, 2010 at 10:15 am

    I knew it!! I could have sworn that, when I was a kid, I watched the Yankees old timers play the A’s old timers. I thought I was going crazy until this morning.

  22. Irabu's Son January 29th, 2010 at 10:21 am

    I think the LEAST the Yankees could do is put half the guys in pinstripes and half the guys in road greys. So it looks like an actual game instead of practice.

  23. GrouchoNYY January 29th, 2010 at 10:23 am

    One of the problems with “theming” Old Timers Day, today, is the long gaps between glory teams since 1964. The only glory period since then (excluding the current period of 1995- present) was 1976-1981. There was nothing to glorify between 1982 and 1994. Even 1979-1981, and 1995 were not championship years. In addition, many of the heroes of the later periods are employed elsewhere, such as Lou Piniella and Don Mattingly.

    The great old Yankees are always there as long as they are able. Younger alum are needed to play the old timers game itself. That is where the second tier old timers come in.

    I expect the next great Old Timers celebrations won’t occur until retirement events for Jeter and Rivera. After that the theme events can return. Imagine a 2020 event bringing back Yankees and Mets from 2000 or a 2021 event bring back Yankees and Braves to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1996 Series and DJ’s rookie year.

  24. Bodhisattva - Destiny Wears Pinstripes January 29th, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Keith Law is an embarrassment.

    The guy is a poseur and a Red Sox groupie. I had the displeasure of running into this guy’s interview with ESPN Radio one afternoon while sitting in my car at the grocery store.

    I found him shrill and smug, with an underlying insecurity that betrayed itself with a sort of nervous little laugh after making any statement. But let that go:

    NO ONE would rank the Red Sox’ farm system higher than Tampa Bay’s.

    Does this loser understand the kind of arms the Rays have in their system?? Helickson, Davis, Matt Moore, McGee, Colome, to name just a few…

  25. Bob January 29th, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Elliott Maddox, the best defensive CF I ever saw, should be welcomed back to the Yankee “family” and back at Old-Timers day. The Yankees “disassociated” themselves with Elliott because he was accused of collecting worksman’s comp. (due to bad knee) yet still holding baseball camps. He was found not guilty (his medical records showed over a dozen knee surgeries). Elliott always represented the Yankees with class and was always proud to be a Yankee.

  26. Bodhisattva - Destiny Wears Pinstripes January 29th, 2010 at 10:29 am

    ….BTW, nice post on OTD.

    Compared to many on this blog, I’m a bit of an Old-Timer myself, so much appreciated.

    Past is prologue :D.

  27. SJ44 January 29th, 2010 at 10:32 am

    I am amazed at the disconnect between the media that writes about prospects and people in the game when it comes to the Red Sox farm system.

    To some members of the media, its like the Red Sox are a cult and they are completely drawn into them.

    I know scouts in the game who laugh at all this supposed “talent” in the Red Sox farm system.

    They have a few interesting parts.

    The Cuban SS is a player. Casey Kelly is a kid who may be the real deal. Their position players are ALL overrated by the media.

    When compared to teams like Tampa and Texas, they aren’t in the same league prospect-wise.

    They have nobody in the class of Jesus Montero in their organization.

    Jim Callis is still trying to sell Josh Reddick as some kind of top end prospect. I don’t know of a scouting director in the game who sees him as that kind of propsect.

    Unfortunately, many members of the media grew up as Red Sox fans and can’t leave their fandom at the door when discussing prospects.

    Anybody can have an opinion. However, to rank the Red Sox farm system ahead of Tampa’s isn’t even being logical.

    Its like saying the Padres will finish with a better record than the Yankees in 2010. It makes no sense.

  28. ariel January 29th, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Mark,

    Excellent commentary. As an old-timer, harkening back stirs fond memories.

  29. Chip January 29th, 2010 at 10:36 am

    I’ve said for a couple of weeks that Damon makes a ton of sense for the Orioles. I’m not going to complain about Green Brat coming late to the party, I’m just going to acknowledge that he arrived at all.

    The move would make a ton of sense for all parties involved. Damon would stay in the AL East where he’s comfortable and play in a hitter friendly park; the O’s would get a leader for their clubhouse and have an outside shot at possibly competing for a wild card spot if everything breaks right – if nothing else they should at least be interesting enough early to get fans back to Camden Yards.

    As for Damon being “miserable” in Oakland – I completely disagree. He would be getting paid to play baseball and know full well that come July the odds are good he’s going to be dealt away.

    It also wouldn’t shock me if he were to wind up with the White Sox or Rockies.

  30. REA in MI January 29th, 2010 at 10:36 am

    The All Star Game festivities and HOF induction weekend are for Major League players. Old Timers’ Day at Yankee Stadium is for Yankees. Period, end of story in my book.

  31. SJ44 January 29th, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Johnny likes the big stage. Playing before 8,000 people in Oakland, 3000 miles away from his family, isn’t going to make him happy.

    It isn’t about “being paid to play baseball”. Lots of guys who are paid to play are miserable in their present locations.

    Especially when they leave places that were perfect for their personal and professional situations.

  32. baseballfab January 29th, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Damon to the Cubs?

  33. Chip January 29th, 2010 at 10:39 am

    As for Boras, I have no complaints about him. He does his job very well for the most part. Everyone makes mistakes and, in Damon’s case, it appears he made a big one.

    As Cashman said last night on YES Hot Stove – you wait and see where Damon lands and you look to see how much he signs for and you hope that it’s not for what the Yankees were offering originally because that means that if he had evaluated his market earlier then he could have been a Yankee.

  34. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day January 29th, 2010 at 10:40 am

    SJ, glad to hear it – I really didn’t think that was the case, but you always wonder. You have to have a thick skin in this business and can’t afford to take things personally. I don’t get Arte Moreno’s stance; isn’t he hurting his team by refusing to deal with Boras? The only team I understand not conducting business with any agent is the Braves. Didn’t Rafael Furcal sign an offer sheet from the Braves and then fax it to another team (I think it was the Dodgers)? I remember thinking at the time how sleazy that was and I was very happy when the Braves took that public.

  35. Jessica January 29th, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Brrrrrrrrrrrrr…kinda chilly today :(

  36. Wave Your Hat January 29th, 2010 at 10:41 am

    “- Who starts in leftfield and more “can Gardner be an everyday player” debate?”

    Combining themes here, PECOTA actually projects Gardner to have a pretty good year, OBP in the .360′s and SLG close to .400. If Gardner does that, he’ll be a real useful ballplayer.

    And I don’t think the Yanks got Winn to take away Gardner’s playing time. The fact that they didn’t push for Damon tells me they want to give Gardner an opportunity to be an everyday player.

  37. SJ44 January 29th, 2010 at 10:42 am

    How does Damon make sense for the Rockies? That’s a huge LF in that ballpark and he can’t play everyday in the NL because of his defensive deficiencies.

    He makes no sense for the Orioles since they are rebuilding and they aren’t even close to being competitive for a WC yet.

    They also have Nolan Reimold in LF and aren’t interested in moving him for Damon.

    The White Sox have already passed on him. Perhaps they can get in again but, haven’t expressed a desire to at this point.

    I guess if you name every team you are bound to be correct at some point.

  38. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day January 29th, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Ranking the Mets ahead of the Yankees (and 10 spots no less) should all you need to know about Keith Law.

  39. Chip January 29th, 2010 at 10:43 am

    SJ -

    Johnny’s happiness is going to be determined less by where he’s playing and more by how much he’s playing for. If where he was playing was his primary concern he wouldn’t have been a Yankee in the first place – he would have stayed with Boston after the 04 season rather than go after every dime he could.

    Will Johnny be happy in Oakland making $5 mil this year? Nope, but it will be more because he’s only making $5 mil than the fact that he’s playing in Oakland.

    Bottom line: if Oakland is offering him money and no one else is and he wants to continue playing ball he will be perfectly happy to accept a contract from the A’s. As I said, it’s entirely likely that it would be a temporary situation anyway – like Orlando Cabrera and Matt Holliday before him.

  40. upstate kate January 29th, 2010 at 10:44 am

    maybe Johnny can follow in the footsteps of Kevin Millar and Eric Hinske and see how many AL East teams he can play for

  41. murphydog January 29th, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Mark:

    Nice piece.

    There’s something so poignant about seeing the older men get together, imagining their reminiscences with the other older men, now so far removed from spring trainings of yore and the dog days of old. This is how the sun sets on the Boys of Summer, the last passage in a sepia-tinted life.

    But you are right. Old Timer’s Day could be a very different event. I’m not sure why there is no opposing “all star old timer” team any longer. I remember it and miss it. This may be heresy but there is more to baseball than the Yankees; not a lot more, just more. By the same token, I also really enjoy seeing the Yankee role players, the cup-of-coffee pinstriped guys.

  42. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day January 29th, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Damon made a mistake and he’s going to pay for it (unless he goes to a real contender), not Boras. If Johnny really wanted to be here, he should have made an effort to prove that.

  43. ArtieA January 29th, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Mark- excellent post.

    I’m wondering if that was the same game day day that Mantle went five for five in 1968 ..his first homer banged off the a metal strip between the upper and mezz decks so hard that you could hear it in the upper deck behind home plate (where i was sitting), and the second baseman fielded it off the bounce.

    Anyway, I miss the the Yanks playing their great advesaries
    of years ago. Wouldn’t it be great to see the likes of a George Brett, Jim Rice, Dewey Evans, Rocky Colovatio playing against Guidry, Nettles, Randolph and so on?

    I’d vote to bring those old timers back!!

  44. roy hobbs January 29th, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Nice post.

    My only old-timers game was in 1986 and it was the 25th anniversary of the ’61 team. There was a tribute to Roger Maris that was very touching. Most of the ’61 Yankees were there and they played against many members of the ’61 Reds who played against them in the Series that year. That game inspired me to go to a Mantle-Ford fantsay camp a few years later.

  45. upstate kate January 29th, 2010 at 10:48 am

    one of the things I like about Old Timers Day is watching the reactions of the current Yankee players…some of them have a real appreciation for the history and tradition.

  46. Brad S77 January 29th, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Great ideas, and as one who started watching around the same time, I agree with everything you said. It was sooooo much better then!

  47. Chip January 29th, 2010 at 10:49 am

    For the Rockies:

    The divison is wide open; adding Damon’s bat to their lineup could be enough to push them over the top. Yes, he’s going to struggle with the OF, but given that their current LF is a platoon between Seth Smith and Ryan Spilborghs I don’t think they would mind sacrificing some defense for his offense and then lift him for a defensive replacement late.

    For the Orioles:

    He wouldn’t take playing time away from Reimold – he would DH – taking playing time away from their platoon of Luke Scott and Ty Wiggington – not a terrible sacrifice.

    Re the White Sox:

    Yes they rejected the notion of him when he was seeking 26 mil over 2 years; if his number drops down then why not take a shot on him as a CF/DH – he’s certainly a better player than either Juan Pierre or Andruw Jones.

  48. lordbyron January 29th, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Nice post Mark – you’re right on the mark with your observations. The ‘old timers’ game is no longer the magic event it once was and could be – too bad. It’s a tradition that I would like to see it restored to its old glory and your suggestions have a lot of merit. However, the current Yankee braintrust (Levine, Trost, et al)only seem to support thier own ideas and agendas. They don’t seem interested with the wishes of the fans.

  49. Peter R January 29th, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Super post!

    As a relatively young (and new) Yankee fan I of course only know the current OTD. It is always a special event…but I agree that it doesn’t seem quite as special as it should be.

    I would love to see the 27 (soon 28) flags waving in the breeze at least one summer day….I think that would really be something. A bit show-offy….but that’s OK every now and then.

    I would also love it if they hyped the Old Timers day a bit more and gave out some memorabilia for it…make it something really to look forward too every year.

    As for themes and non-Yankees I think it is something that could be looked at..even just a one or two year try with it. Must say having all the old times come out like 10 times the last two years did diminish the mystique a bit…having a more diverse crowd wouldn’t hurt to much.

    Overall it is one of my favorite days of the summer and I think some of your suggestions could only make it even greater!

  50. Bronx Jeers January 29th, 2010 at 10:55 am

    “can you imagine pedro martinez in a few years coming out of the visiting dugout and pitching to tino, brosious, oneil, posada etc ?”

    That would be a good show. And Pedro seems to be the kind of guy that would enjoy it as well. As I much as I loved seeing Hideki smoke him in game 6, I admit I’m a big Pedro fan.

    “Oh, and one more thing: Is it asking too much to be given a cheap keepsake program?”

    A little off this point but in visiting other parks, I notice that they all offer scorecards for sale at round 1-2$.

    Yankee Stadium? 10$ as you have to by the program to get a scorecard.

    Why Yankees Why? Why do you have to price gouge at every opportunity?

  51. tex's friend January 29th, 2010 at 10:55 am

    i would be tickled pink if gardner gets it together and becomes a solid player. this way we can save money on caro crawford and put it into pitching, although i like the idea of carl crawford in the 1 or 2 spot at the top.

  52. Russ January 29th, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Lovely post, Mark.

    I agree with everything you’ve said but one thing:

    The Yankee Old-Timers game should really only include players who have donned the pinstripes. Otherwise, where do you draw the line? I like seeing the random players from my youth who I watched play all summer long, even if they aren’t Hall of Famers.

    If you start inviting great players from other teams, we’ll never see Mike Pagliarulo again. To me, that’s part of the reason to be a Yankee–to join in that tradition.

  53. GI Joe January 29th, 2010 at 10:59 am

    SJ44,

    you used to speak so well about KLaw.

    Here’s what you said about him only 7 weeks ago:

    He was a very good executive in the game. He turned down 2 Asst. GM jobs in baseball to take the ESPN gig because he wanted to cover every team instead of working for one team.

    He’s a Harvard graduate and very, very smart on the inner workings of the game.

    You don’t have to agree with everything he writes. However, he’s one of the brightest people covering the game today.

    http://yankees.lhblogs.com/200.....nt-1172626

    Now you refer to him a RSN cultist.

    Which is it: a terribly smart person who’s opinion should be respected if when disagreeable or a kool-aid drinking Moonie distributing RSN pamphlets at the airport?

  54. Wes January 29th, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Thanks Mark. Great post. I really like the idea of hanging the banners around the stadium and inviting players from opposing teams.

    One of the earliest memories I have from my childhood is going to an Old Timers Day game with my Dad, probably mid to late 80′s. As they were introducing the players, he put me up on his shoulders and yelled to me “Wesley, you’re seeing Mickey Mantle on the field at Yankee Stadium. You have to remember this!”.

    I’ve always felt lucky to be a Yankees fan and to have that connection to the past which few other franchises can even come close to.

  55. DF January 29th, 2010 at 11:02 am

    When I was a kid in the 70s I remember that the Yankees use to bring back the old timers from other teams to face the old time Yankees. The majority were old Brokklyn Dodger players. It was great.

    I also remember going to an old timers game (probably the early 80′s) and how excited I was. There was Mantle, Maris, Ford, Berra, and of course Joe DiMaggio.

    I also met Phil Rizzuto outside of Yankee stadium once. I knew he was small but I didn’t realize how small until I was standing next to him.

    I also remember Mantle hitting a homer at an old timers day in the early 70′s. I think I remember Whitey was the pitcher, but maybe I’m wrong.

  56. Chip January 29th, 2010 at 11:04 am

    I guess if you name every team you are bound to be correct at some point.

    Oh, and SJ it’s pretty easy to tell everyone else that they’re wrong all the time. Any time you care to offer an original thought I would be glad to listen.

  57. SJ44 January 29th, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Chip,

    Isn’t Carlos Gonzalez the Rockies starting LF?

    Why are sitting him for Damon? Makes no sense.

    Whatever Oakland or anybody pays him, its going to be less than the Yankee offer unless Scott has a “mystery team”.

    If he is playing for a non-contender that doesn’t draw well for 4-5 million, he’s not going to be a happy camper.

  58. blake January 29th, 2010 at 11:05 am

    this may have already been posted but Heyman said (so who knows if its true) that he talked to Damon and he said that he could see himself signing with another team and then being traded to the Yankees sometime during the season.

    If thats true then it sounds like he really wanted to stay in NY and he should have made that a little more clear to his agent.

  59. Chip January 29th, 2010 at 11:07 am

    GI Joe -

    Very nice.

    For what it’s worth I think Keith Law is a bright guy, but I question how good of a baseball man he is. In this era of teams going after young, bright, stat oriented execs to be their GMs I find it hard to believe that if Law was as good an executive as he (or SJ) would have us believe that he would be working for a major league club and not ESPN.

  60. blake January 29th, 2010 at 11:07 am

    “Isn’t Carlos Gonzalez the Rockies starting LF?”

    I thought they were planning on him being in CF next year…now thats a guy I wish the Yankees could get their hands on.

  61. SJ44 January 29th, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Chip throwing stuff against the wall aren’t “original thoughts”. Its throwing stuff against the wall hoping something sticks.

    Here is Johnny’s dilemma. Just about every team in baseball are at their budgetary limits at this late date.

    There isn’t a spare 7+ million lying around to give him.

    Nor are non-contenders interested in giving a 37 year old OF/DH Scott Boras money.

    That’s a BIG problem for Johnny.

    Some of these teams are in complete rebuilding mode and would rather give the PT to younger players.

    Other teams see him as a 4-5 million dollar player.

    That being the case, if you think he is going to be happy playing for what may be 10 million less (when you add in the 2 year Yankee offer) for a non-contender, simply because he’s being paid to play baseball, we can agree to disagree.

  62. Shame Spencer January 29th, 2010 at 11:10 am

    They may already have been discussed but who else was confused by Lupica’s article in the Daily News today???? The guy basically is crucifying the Yankees for using the payroll as an “excuse” to not sign Johnny Damon. I suppose instead he would have rather our GM state from the end of last season that we never wanted him to begin with?? Because calling it a “payroll issue” is somehow a cheap shot? And the Yankees are trying to play the victim? Did I miss something this week that Lupica didnt??? (Also, Johnny Damon is NOT Alex Rodriguez. Just pointing that out now).

    I’m so, so confused.. would love to hear others thoughts on this nonsense:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/spo.....y_dam.html

  63. SJ44 January 29th, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Blake,

    Isn’t Dexter Fowler the starting the CF in Colorado?

    GI Joe:

    Here is what “it” is.

    Keith is a very bright guy whose opinion regarding the Red Sox farm system (he is one of Theo Espstein’s closest friends) I disagree with completely.

    One can be very bright and also be wrong about a particular issue.

  64. Chip January 29th, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Isn’t Carlos Gonzalez the Rockies starting LF?

    I believe he closed out the season as their starting CF – if they are moving him to LF that’s news to me and would alter my opinion.

    If he is playing for a non-contender that doesn’t draw well for 4-5 million, he’s not going to be a happy camper.

    If he’s playing for a non-contender that doesn’t draw well for 4-5 mil then he won’t finish the season with that team. He’ll be traded to a contender that does draw well by the end of July and he knows it. And no, he will not be happy, but it will have less to do with whether the team contends or draws and more to do with the fact that he’s making 4-5 mil.

  65. SJ44 January 29th, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Chip,

    Keith is making more money at ESPN than he can make in baseball at the present time.

    If he wanted back into the game, he would have options.

    He would rather write and work for ESPN because he travels less and makes more money doing so.

  66. SJ44 January 29th, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Chip,

    He would have made that money (more if he signed in December) playing for the Yankees.

    You really think Johnny Damon is going to be happy playing for a team and hoping he gets dealt (if it shakes out that way) at the trade deadline?

    He goes from being a WS hero to a journeyman guy in one year.

    I don’t know many ballplayers who would be happy with that arrangement.

  67. GI Joe January 29th, 2010 at 11:15 am

    SJ44

    Why do you keep saying Damon is 37.

    He doesn’t turn 37 until November. That’s almost a year from now.

  68. YankeeRay January 29th, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Good post. I agree with the old timers from other teams as that is what I remember best about the older OTD games.
    Who cares about seeing some of the weaker older Yankees come out. With the new Stadium in place I would think they could get a good pool of old timers from other teams who if nothing else would want to see the new digs.
    Stack our team with the 70′s,80′s and a few 90′s players to play in the game and sprinkle Yogi, Whitey, Larson, Richardson and a few older guys for good measure.

  69. Chip January 29th, 2010 at 11:16 am

    That being the case, if you think he is going to be happy playing for what may be 10 million less (when you add in the 2 year Yankee offer) for a non-contender, simply because he’s being paid to play baseball, we can agree to disagree.

    Once again you show an amazing ability to read what you want to read and not follow an entire post.

    I don’t think Damon will be happy in the scenario you describe, but it’s got less to do with whether the team contends or draws fans and everything to do with how much money he’s making.

    Johnny’s not an idiot, he knows that if he signs with Oakland, Baltimore, Cincy, Washington – the odds are very good that he’s going to wind up on a contending team in the playoff hunt to close out the season.

  70. lordbyron January 29th, 2010 at 11:16 am

    “I’m so, so confused.. would love to hear others thoughts on this nonsense:”

    Although I often disagree with Lupica these days, I think he’s on the money about the Boras/Damon saga. And so do others in the media – check out some of the other baseball writers and bloggers.

  71. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day January 29th, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Why should the Yankees trade for Damon even if Winn doesn’t work out? They’d have to give up prospects for him…….no thanks.

    If Damon signs for less than the Yankees offered, the media will kill Cashman unfairly; they will say (and some fans will as well) that Cash could have had Damon for that price if they had waited him out (forgetting that the Yankees couldn’t afford to wait Damon out).

  72. blake January 29th, 2010 at 11:16 am

    “Blake,
    Isn’t Dexter Fowler the starting the CF in Colorado?”

    From Fangraphs:

    Dexter Fowler is another interesting name that didn’t quite make the list. The concern with Fowler is that Carlos Gonzalez played better defense in center field according to UZR and also outperformed Fowler at the plate in the second half. One thing that Fowler really needs to work on is his strikeout rate (26.8% in 2009) and his minor league numbers (23.7%) seem to suggest he can cut the Ks. If the Rockies don’t trade their outfield surplus, however, Fowler could find himself as the fourth outfielder that starts only against lefties (.850 career OPS vs. lefties). Regardless, Fowler’s pedigree with the scouting community should give him the benefit of the doubt if he finds himself battling with Seth Smith for time.

    I don’t know you might be right but most things I’ve read has Gonzalez in CF.

  73. stuckey January 29th, 2010 at 11:17 am

    “this may have already been posted but Heyman said (so who knows if its true) that he talked to Damon and he said that he could see himself signing with another team and then being traded to the Yankees sometime during the season.

    If thats true then it sounds like he really wanted to stay in NY and he should have made that a little more clear to his agent.”

    Blake, just for fun let’s say Cashman does get Damon back on July 31st, now owing him just 1/3rd of his 2010 salary, for the post-season.

    Wouldn’t it have been a VERY astute move on Cashman’s part, making all THE (“the”, not yours particularly) consternation moot?

    btw – if Damon DID actually say that, he pretty much acknowledged publicly he’s only getting a 1 year deal.

  74. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! January 29th, 2010 at 11:17 am

    “The difference, to me, is this. The Yankees love Damon – love everything about him. But this time around, he is not seen as the difference maker. The Yankees don’t believe they need Johnny Damon to win. And that’s why they didn’t break the bank.”

    Once again, on the money Doreen. I really am getting a giggle out of the endless posts and “proffered explanations” about Cashman, Boras, Damon, etc. I guess it’s important to certain posters to be the “accepted version”.

    I really like to cut to the chase and keep it simple. So I will synthesize what you said above.

    For all posters who have just discovered the Yankee way of doing business: if the Yankees wanted Damon enough, he’d have been signed.

    :)

  75. GI Joe January 29th, 2010 at 11:17 am

    sJ44

    Why dont you admit it was wrong for you to say/imply that KLaw is a RSN cultist. Be a man.

  76. jennifer January 29th, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Lets not forget that 2 years ago (?) Damon was contemplating retirement.

  77. Chip January 29th, 2010 at 11:20 am

    He goes from being a WS hero to a journeyman guy in one year.

    He was a world series hero and cult icon in Boston, that didn’t stop him from leaving because of the money.

    I’m not saying Damon will be happy in his next situation, but the fact that he’s not playing for a contender will be way down on the list of reasons why.

    And since you are having trouble comprehending today I’ll make it easy for you.

    Reasons Johnny Damon won’t be happy if he signs for 5 mil with a non-contender:

    1. Getting only 5 mil
    2. Getting only 5 mil
    3. Getting only 5 mil
    4. Getting only 5 mil
    5. Getting only 5 mil
    6. Playing for a non-contender
    7. Getting only 5 mil
    8. Getting only 5 mil
    9. Getting only 5 mil
    10. Getting only 5 mil

  78. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! January 29th, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Betsy, the media will say what the media will say. The media has already said the thing that makes the most sense. The Yankees didn’t want Damon enough. So what they say from here on in is really just “stuff” wouldn’t you agree?

    I could be dead out wrong on this but I don’t think Brian Cashman gives a stiff fig what is said about him in the press.

  79. blake January 29th, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Stuckey,

    Yea that would be a very astute move by Cash. I really can’t see that happening though but you never know I guess.

  80. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day January 29th, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Why does any Yankee fan still read Lupica? He’s an arrogant weasel who hates the Yankees and takes every opportunity he can to kill them (while he lets the Mets go untouched). I refuse to read anything he writes (the only time I read him is when I unfortunately run across a stray post on a message board that quotes the guy and my eyes inadvertently hover over it)

  81. SJ44 January 29th, 2010 at 11:22 am

    So he is 36, with declining defensive skills. Or, do you want to tell me he isn’t declining defensively GI Joe?

    Chip,

    My point is, whatever money Johnny gets now (unless Scott pulls a rabbit out of his hat) will be less than what he earned in NY.

    If he goes to a non-contender, he has to hope he gets dealt at the deadline to a contender to make his year worthwhile.

    All that could have been avoided if he just took the best offer he had at the time from the Yankees.

    Now, whether you like the term or not, he becomes a journeyman type of guy and that could have been avoided.

  82. Chip January 29th, 2010 at 11:22 am

    GI Joe
    January 29th, 2010 at 11:17 am
    sJ44

    Why dont you admit it was wrong for you to say/imply that KLaw is a RSN cultist. Be a man.
    ————–

    GI Joe -

    Don’t you know that SJ 44 is never wrong. How could he be? He personally knows every baseball executive and agent. In fact, before Brian Cashman makes a move, whether it’s signing Nick Johnson or ordering breakfast, he sends SJ a text to ask for his opinion….

  83. NRob11 January 29th, 2010 at 11:23 am

    GI Joe:

    Why don’t you run off and buy some more action figures? We’d all be much better off if you’d leave the baseball analysis to SJ44 and CB, and just played with your toys instead.

  84. Shame Spencer January 29th, 2010 at 11:23 am

    lordbyron -

    I agree that we probably didnt take issue with losing Damon if that was how the cards were dealt.. but i’m still not sure where Lupica gets off killing us for that. Comparing Damon’s negotiations to Arods is totally off the mark, to begin with. Secondly, telling a guy we cant fit him in the budget as opposed to flat out saying that we no longer believe he can play his position is a “cheap shot”?? I guess I’m just missing the logic somewhere.

  85. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! January 29th, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Betsy, I don’t read Lupica, I don’t read Law, I don’t watch Jude Law, I don’t read Sherman, in fact I don’t read any opinion stuff. I read this forum, I check out the Yankee website and the MLB website to get baseball news (not opinion) and I watch Yankee baseball. I feel I am a richer person because of it. I actually predicted the Yankees would win the world series last year based on that “paucity” of information.

    ;)

  86. jennifer January 29th, 2010 at 11:26 am

    lordbyron

    Are you serious? Lupica on the money? The Yankees wanted him to stay. They made him a fair offer. He declined. Damon hasn’t had a another offer this winter. Why should the Yankees bid against themselves to keep him? He isn’t Babe Ruth! If Damon really wanted to stay, he would have taken the offer in December. But no he was out to squeeze every last penny from the Yankees. And currently it looks like he lost that gamble.

  87. Bronx Jeers January 29th, 2010 at 11:26 am

    “They may already have been discussed but who else was confused by Lupica’s article in the Daily News today????

    I’m so, so confused.. would love to hear others thoughts on this nonsense”

    You shouldn’t read Lupica. It’s bad for the brain.

    On more riff on Old timer’s Day.

    What’s the deal with some of these “so-called old timers” that are basically just players that recently fell off the charts.

    “Ladies and gentleman, This Yankee was was famous for turning Interstate 80 into a river of molten asphalt. Let’ all welcome… Chris Britton!”

  88. Wave Your Hat January 29th, 2010 at 11:26 am

    tricia-

    When you and I agree on something it must be right, don’t you think?

  89. Chip January 29th, 2010 at 11:27 am

    SJ -

    We both agree that Johnny won’t be happy. We just disagree about the key reason for his unhappiness. I’ve explained it now about 10 times in various ways and you still don’t seem to comprehend. I’m going to chalk it up to some head injury you suffered in childhood and move on.

  90. GI Joe January 29th, 2010 at 11:27 am

    SJ44 January 29th, 2010 at 11:22 am

    So he is 36, with declining defensive skills. Or, do you want to tell me he isn’t declining defensively GI Joe?
    ==========================

    I never said anything about his defensive skills, yet, ironically, you’re get all defensive and try to change the subject by putting words in my mouth. Just what I thought, you’re a puzzy.

  91. GI Joe January 29th, 2010 at 11:28 am

    NRob11,

    you should have more respect for the men and women in uniform, who provide you with security.

  92. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! January 29th, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Betsy, your point about Lupica in particular is a good one though. Since his reputation for hating the Yankees far supercedes him, reading him would be only for Yankee fans who are masochists!

  93. SJ44 January 29th, 2010 at 11:28 am

    GI Joe,

    Why don’t you stop being a twerp?

    I said many members of the media are Red Sox fans and that clouds their judgment. I didn’t say Keith is a Red Sox cultist.

    I do think, given his relationship with Theo, it does cloud his judgment. That’s my opinion. If you don’t like it, I think I’ll survive.

    I don’t know of another person in baseball that thinks the Red Sox farm system is better than the Rays.

    If Keith does, so be it. He’s on that island alone.

  94. Erin January 29th, 2010 at 11:28 am

    trisha – OPPC forever – (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS!
    January 29th, 2010 at 11:25 am
    Betsy, I don’t read Lupica, I don’t read Law, I don’t watch Jude Law,

    ************************
    trisha, you don’t know what you’re missing with Jude Law. ;)

  95. YankeeRay January 29th, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Once again Lupica writes a rediculous article.
    Cash had a plan to get younger and more athletic. I agree that NJ is not more athletic than Damon but he is younger and could end up hitting better if he stays healthy which would also be a concern for Damon.
    At the end of the day we lost 3 very big contributors from last season in Damon, Matsui and Melky and added Granderson, NJ, Vasquez and move Gardner back into the starting line up where he started off last year.
    Cash does this while decreasing payroll, improving his outfield defense and solidifying our rotation with an innings eater that is coming off a very good season.
    Like he said on hot stove last night the Vasquez move makes the entire pitching staff deeper and more flexible.
    Add in that we now have payroll flexibility to add a player mid season and more importantly have open spots going into next years free agency for Lee, Crawford or Werth and then add in that Montero will be platooning between DH/C with Posada next year and I’d say that Cash has a big picture plan in mind that Damon for 2 years doesn’t fit into.

  96. murphydog January 29th, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Shame Spencer:

    Loopyca usually craps on the Yankees for spending too much money, for buying championships, for destroying the game. Usually, he blasts the Yankees for the new Stadium, for all its delusions of grandeur, the ticket prices… I could go on and on – Loopyca certainly does.

    But you have to be a genius to have the mental dexterity to simultaneously: a) slam the Yankees for spending too much and then b) when they decide not to spend more than they want to spend on a player, slam them for not spending too much money.

    It’s great to have a column in a big circulation newspaper in NY, to be a talking head – - albeit sitting on phone books – - on various sports TV shows. It’s great to write saccharine, adolescent “sports novels” and watch polo matches in the Hamptons, ever the social climber trying to gain brownie points with the elites by talking tough on political issues now too.

    But when it comes to talking out of both sides of one churlish little mouth, nobody does it better than little Mikey Loopyca.

  97. Chip January 29th, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Here’s a trade (just to change the subject):

    Rockies get: Gardner, Aceves, Russo and Melancon

    Yankees get: Carlos Gonzalez and Clint Barmes

  98. GI Joe January 29th, 2010 at 11:31 am

    SJ44 January 29th, 2010 at 11:28 am

    GI Joe,

    Why don’t you stop being a twerp?
    ====================================

    I like to see you say that to my face. I’d enjoy seeing you pick up your teeth from the pavement.

  99. austinmac January 29th, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Their was an interesting and amusing article on the Boston Herald website regarding the Sox excessive, and to the author, unreasonable reliance on metrics, particularly defensive.

  100. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! January 29th, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Wave, absolutely. I don’t care how much chapter and verse anyone quotes here, the one thing they cannot state unequivocally no matter how much they try to convince us otherwise is that they know the real strategy involved in what went down.

    Again Damon’s not here. They didn’t want him enough or he would be. True? True.

    :)

  101. SJ44 January 29th, 2010 at 11:34 am

    That could be arranged tough guy. I’d like to wait until you at least hit puberty though.

  102. GI Joe January 29th, 2010 at 11:35 am

    SJ44

    I didn’t say Keith is a Red Sox cultist.
    ==========================================
    No you didn’t say it, you’re too much of a chicken shte to say it, rather you implied it, like the weasel you are.

  103. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2010 at 11:36 am

    NYYs signed Damon at a reasonable price for what they needed in 2006. NYY needed a defensive center fielder that carried a big bat, so he was worth $13 mil a year to them. Boston had a replacement and didn’t need one at that cost. NYYs got what they wanted and so did Damon. Right now, NYY doesn’t need a $13 mil a year center fielder and the don’t need an $8-10 mil a year defensive liability in left field.

  104. SJ44 January 29th, 2010 at 11:36 am

    LOL, you are too funny boy.

    Isn’t it time for recess to end for you and get back to third grade?

  105. Shame Spencer January 29th, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Can’t we all just get along?

  106. GI Joe January 29th, 2010 at 11:37 am

    SJ44, you can whistle past the graveyard all you want, but you’ve exposed for what you are. Guttless, lying sissy.

  107. Erin January 29th, 2010 at 11:38 am

    It’s very hostile in here today. Do I need to start a Sesame Street discussion???

  108. austinmac January 29th, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Chad, I would say their is enough name calling going on for you to intervene. Threats are inappropriate and those who do so should be banned.

  109. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! January 29th, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Erin – :lol:

    What I find so offputting about him is that his head is bigger than his body (almost literally). I have to admit I found it strange that Sienna Miller took him back, though that Hollywood brew (London version) is sure strange stuff!

  110. Patrick from CT January 29th, 2010 at 11:39 am

    I am so happy this Johnny Damon stuff is just about over; well I guess it won’t really be over until he signs somewhere, but…
    From what I’ve been reading, Johnny was given a couple of oportunities to come back to the Yankees and chose not to.
    He and Boras thought that the Yankees wanted him back more than they really did. The Yankee put a $$ figure on him and Boras and Johnny over played their hand.
    I liked Johnny Damon on the Yankees but we are not talking about a life long Yankee here; He should not expect to be treated as such and we as fans should not see this as any thing more than our GM making the right call and sticking to his guns.
    Johnny is a guy that has always gone for the most $$ in the past. He left the Red Sox for the Yankees because of $$, nuff said…

  111. SJ44 January 29th, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Boy you got me. I feel so bad now.

    Children and computers. A dangerous combination.

  112. GI Joe January 29th, 2010 at 11:40 am

    SJ44, I just thought you were an old fart, but with your obsession with puberty and playgrounds, you must be a child predator.

  113. Bronx Jeers January 29th, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Empty threats of violence on an anonymous blog are the last resort of the outrageously stupid.

    Even if you had a shred of legitimacy before, it’s gone.

  114. blake January 29th, 2010 at 11:41 am

    “Here’s a trade (just to change the subject):
    Rockies get: Gardner, Aceves, Russo and Melancon
    Yankees get: Carlos Gonzalez and Clint Barmes”

    If the Rockies would do it, I’d make that trade in 2 seconds. Gonzalez is gonna be really good I think.

  115. Erin January 29th, 2010 at 11:41 am

    trisha – OPPC forever – (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS!
    January 29th, 2010 at 11:39 am
    Erin –

    What I find so offputting about him is that his head is bigger than his body (almost literally). I have to admit I found it strange that Sienna Miller took him back, though that Hollywood brew (London version) is sure strange stuff!

    **************************
    LOL I know what you mean, but I don’t mind so much because that’s one gorgeous head (and the accent kills me!) :)

  116. murphydog January 29th, 2010 at 11:45 am

    “They didn’t want him [Damon] enough or he would be.”

    Very True. We tend to make these things too complicated.

    I just don’t buy the conspiracy theory, namely, that Cashman/The Steinbrenners have intentionally disfigured their team and purposely handicapped their chances to repeat by not signing Damon, solely out of spite, to get back at Boras or Damon for some perceived slight.

    Really? They’d trade repairing their wounded pride ahead of trying/spending their best to win it all? Sorry. Outside of a dark movie theater I tend not to be persuaded by assertions of the John Birch Society, or any of their subsidiaries.

    While I can’t really grasp the concept of a “Budget All Star Team,” that’s Cash’s plan and he’s sticking to it. Sorry, Johnny, but the music finally stopped and you don’t gots a chair!

  117. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! January 29th, 2010 at 11:45 am

    I think I’ll take the other side, like any good lawyer should be able to do – or so I’ve been told.

    I think Johnny Damon will be happy wherever he goes because he already knows what it’s like to win a ring. For him now, IMO, it is ALL ABOUT THE MONEY. As long as someone pays him to play, he’ll be out there pickin’ and a’grinnin’.

    I don’t see Damon as terribly complicated. Give him a bat and ball and paycheck, he’s there and happy.

  118. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! January 29th, 2010 at 11:50 am

    “I just don’t buy the conspiracy theory, namely, that Cashman/The Steinbrenners have intentionally disfigured their team and purposely handicapped their chances to repeat by not signing Damon, solely out of spite, to get back at Boras or Damon for some perceived slight.”

    Murphy anyone who truly believes that is not a serious fan of the New York Yankees. You are then hearing from the bereaved Damon lover who had decided that Damon just had to be brought back – or else. And now that person will lash out at everyone and everything because their Johnny isn’t coming back.

    The Yankees play to win – literally. If they need the piece, they get it. If it costs them, so be it. If they don’t need the piece enough, the piece becomes expendable.

  119. Chip January 29th, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Blake,

    I agree.

    I don’t know why the Rockies would do it, but if their GM were drunk or something maybe we can get it done ;-)

  120. DaSaint007 January 29th, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Are you guys grown men? Arguing over a disagreement in interpretation on sports matters? Thank God this isn’t about world affairs, the tragedy in Haiti, or joblessness, or healthcare. Someone may actually lose a limb.

    Both of you, no all involved, need to just cool it.

  121. DaSaint007 January 29th, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

  122. Frank January 29th, 2010 at 11:55 am

    “I don’t know why the Rockies would do it, but if their GM were drunk or something maybe we can get it done”

    Not sure being drunk would be enough to make that deal. Drunk and somehow compromised??? Yeah, that may do it.

  123. randy l. January 29th, 2010 at 11:57 am

    “Empty threats of violence on an anonymous blog are the last resort of the outrageously stupid.
    Even if you had a shred of legitimacy before, it’s gone.”

    bronx jeers-

    all the regulars on the blog know sj44 is the real thing .

    it’s never ceased to amuse me how some people are put off by him because he actually knows people in baseball.

    i guess that’s threatening to people who spend their lives on their couch.

  124. jennifer January 29th, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Just because he will be making a few million to play somewhere doesn’t mean he’ll be happy. Heck I think Swish has said a few times he wasn’t very happy in Chicago.

  125. Chip January 29th, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Frank -

    I’ll get the camera, you get the goat.

    Randy -

    I don’t think people are put off by the fact that SJ claims to know people in the sport. I think people are put off by the fact that SJ refuses to see potential merit in anyone’s comments other than his own.

  126. Bronx Jeers January 29th, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Trisha,

    I think you’re taking the “Bereaved Damon lover”‘s position a bit too seriously.

    It’s really just a running joke and many of us play along.

    It wasn’t that long ago that Kyle got traded and you took it kind of hard and were a bit defensive at the time as well.

    Damon was a popular player and he definitely helped the team win games.

    It’s a shame that he won’t be returning but that’s the business side of things and we’re all aware that these things do happen.

    Besises, Pitchers and Catchers will should be holding their first workout in 3 weeks and I’m sure this whole Damon grief spell will be long dead by that time.

    We’re all Yankee fans first and foremost.

  127. Frank January 29th, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    “i guess that’s threatening to people who spend their lives on their couch.”

    Hey!!!!

  128. Erica - always OPPC - Is done with Brian Cashman! January 29th, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Bronx Jeers
    January 29th, 2010 at 12:03 pm
    Trisha,

    I think you’re taking the “Bereaved Damon lover”’s position a bit too seriously.

    It’s really just a running joke and many of us play along.

    ********************

    Did I post something I am not aware of???

    If not, not sure why I am getting dragged into a conversation I am purposely staying away from.

    In fact, I am purposely staying away from posting althogether

  129. Erica - always OPPC - Is done with Brian Cashman! January 29th, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Bronx Jeers-

    Btw- please don’t think I am attacking you in anyway. I am just trying to understand how this conversation is working

  130. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! January 29th, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    “It wasn’t that long ago that Kyle got traded and you took it kind of hard and were a bit defensive at the time as well.”

    Short term memory pal. The minute Kyle was traded I said I was sad about it but it was apparent to me that the Yankees felt it needed to be done. And I moved on. Immediately. So maybe your own defensiveness is catching up with you.

    Murphy was referring to people who said Cashman didn’t sign Damon in order to get back at Boras or Damon. If you’re one of them, you’re whacked. IMO. If you’re not, the post didn’t refer to you. Kay?

  131. S.o.S. January 29th, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    What is up. Uhhhh.. So what time is the rumble under the oneil banner between gi joe and sj?

    What the hell happened?

  132. rodg12 January 29th, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    For the record, the Rockies OF next year will mostly likely be…

    LF Gonzalez
    CF Fowler
    RF Hawpe

    And the Rockies got Gonzalez as the centerpiece to the Holliday trade. No way they trade him for what you suggested Chip.

  133. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! January 29th, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Erica, that had NOTHING to do with you. People here (not you) need to read a little more carefully before they respond.

    If you read murphydog’s post, he was referring to people who felt there was a Cashman conspiracy not to bring Damon back. My response to him dealt with anyone who would theorize such.

  134. Betsy -Romine wasn't built in a day January 29th, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    In a last-ditch effort late last week after Damon himself called the team, Cashman, one of baseball’s best dealmakers, tried floating a contract of $6 million with $3 million deferred at no interest (with the promise it would be cleared with team boss Hal Steinbrenner, who was about to return from his honeymoon). But Damon wasn’t moved enough to respond.

    -Heyman

    ***Unbelievable. Heyman and cohorts are upset with the Yankees for not breaking the budget when it’s clear they did all they can? Seriously – I’ve had enough of Damon already.

  135. rodg12 January 29th, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Wow, an internet tough guy. Haven’t seen one of those before (rolls eyes).

  136. DaSaint007 January 29th, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Chip,

    Everyone’s entitled to his/her opinion. One can agree, disagree, or not care. Heck, I had to listen to you post trades from seemingly up your arse for weeks: DeJesus, Randy Winn, Ryan Church. And look what happened! Randy Winn! Who would have thunk it. LOL!

    But it’s all in fun, and sometimes interesting to learn another’s perspectives and thought processes, and believe it or not, we all learn a little more each day about the game and the team we love so much.

    Now get back to your throwing strange trade concepts on the wall and stop worrying about whomever may agree or disagree. It’s all good.

    Saint

  137. randy l. January 29th, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    ” I think people are put off by the fact that SJ refuses to see potential merit in anyone’s comments other than his own.”

    chip-

    well ,considering the fact i have disagreed for years on the blog with sj44 about the value of cashman,yet still have always had respectful disagreements with him, i’d have to disagree with you.

    this blog isn’t about agreeing. it’s about debating baseball ideas.

  138. S.o.S. January 29th, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Pretty hostile this morning. I think someone needs to get on the red bat phone and call Cash. Tell him to sign another free agent for minimum wage just so we can start another thread. Whats Cairo up to these days?

  139. Erin January 29th, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    New post: A window to the past

  140. S.o.S. January 29th, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Just wondering how much The Pavano but master sold for yesterday?

  141. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! January 29th, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Thanks Erin. Good job! (And it couldn’t have come at a better time.)

    ;)

  142. Mike S. January 29th, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    August 10, 1968 is the Old-Timer’s Day referred to. Mantle’s last two HR game, both off Jim Merritt of the Twins. #530 and 531 of his career.

    The next day, I saw my first game at the Stadium at the age of six. Damn. One day too late. It was getaway day and Mantle didn’t play.

    On Aug. 12, Mickey hit #532 out on the West Coast.

    Damn my luck.

  143. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    rodg12
    January 29th, 2010 at 12:09 pm
    For the record, the Rockies OF next year will mostly likely be…

    LF Gonzalez
    CF Fowler
    RF Hawpe

    And the Rockies got Gonzalez as the centerpiece to the Holliday trade. No way they trade him for what you suggested Chip.

    ————————————————————

    Perhaps the Yanks could trade for Ryan Church and make him the center piece of the Yankees part of the trade. true, that would be a stiff price to place but a good trade hurts everyone.

  144. randy l. January 29th, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    “i guess that’s threatening to people who spend their lives on their couch.”- randy l

    “Hey!!!!”- frank

    sorry frank. yeah, that was over the line :)

  145. GreenBeret7 January 29th, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    S.o.S.
    January 29th, 2010 at 12:14 pm
    Pretty hostile this morning. I think someone needs to get on the red bat phone and call Cash. Tell him to sign another free agent for minimum wage just so we can start another thread. Whats Cairo up to these days?

    ————————————————————

    The Reds signed Cairo. Those dirty commies are signing up all of the free labor.

  146. Bronx Jeers January 29th, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Well… then I humbly regress and apologize to all parties involved.

    Randy,

    I hope you didn’t take my comments as in any way being directed towards SJ44. If so, I really do need another cup of coffee.

    There are several, what I consider, “senior posters” (not necessarily in age!) in here whose comments I regularly read and take in high regard. These are the people I have learned something from and it’s a big part of the reason I continue come in here. Well that and to have a few laughs.

    Anyway, I would probably put SJ44 at the very top of that group of posters.

  147. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! January 29th, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Bronx, not a prob. I adjust very well to the Yankee way of life. When a player leaves, I always accept it as the Yankees knowing more than I do (if it’s a player I wish were still here.) When they bring a player on board, I always accept it as the Yankees knowing more than I do (if it’s a player I don’t necessarily want.)

    I still miss Bobby Abreu and wish he were still with the team. But I have much more trust in the organization’s complete knowledge of any situation, and their blueprint for the future, than I do in my own or that of any other poster.

    So I smile and cheer.

    :)

  148. stuckey January 29th, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    In the immortal words of Cheri Oteri…

    Sedda dow nah!

  149. Chip January 29th, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    MLBTR is reporting that the Indians were/are exploring the idea of trading Fausto Carmona to free up the money to sign Orlando Hudson.

    NON YANKEE TRADE SUGGESTION

    Mets get Fausto Carmona

    Indians get Jonathan Niese, Dan Murphy, Bobby Parnell.

  150. kingcora January 29th, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    The Yankees should take these 3 recommendations and run with them. Baseball needs to connect to it’s history to enhance it’s future. My only complaint is I’d use Horace Clark as my journeyman “icon”. Best guest blog written this year!

  151. youngtimer January 29th, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    The Yankees are not about tradition if they don’t honor their old timers. Let’s do it up right. Great post!

  152. ko January 29th, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    I’m going to get even more nostalgic and pull a Steinbrenner here. Whoever the moron is in the organization running Old Timer’s Day – should be FIRED! I like the ideas of a theme that you can build an advertising campaign around, invite mostly stars if you can, hang out the banners and a collector’s item worthy program. I’m not so big on opposing ballplayers. The big problem with Old Timers day tho’ is that there just weren’t a whole lot of Yankee icons from 1965 – 1995 which is where the Old Timer’s pool has been coming from lately. The only Yankee icons you’ve got, pre-1995, are Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Reggie Jackson and Don Mattingly. Its not like the earlier days when you would trot out Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio. Those two make bringing out guys who were really good players like Nettles and Gossage look like a couple of boogers in comparison.

  153. 407 feet right of center January 29th, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    amen

  154. Tarheelyank January 29th, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Mark

    Excellent post. Thank you.

  155. JayB96 January 30th, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Excellent post. It would be quite a sight to see the 27 World Series banners up on the facade – It would be pretty cool actually if every year they left the facade bare until Old Timer’s Day, and then left them up the rest of the season – furthermore making Old Timer’s Day that much more of an occasion every season.

    I enjoy the idea of bringing old players back, however I see both sides of the argument. As a 22-year old, my first memories as a fan only extend beyond the 1995 season, so many of the utility players that spent one or two seasons on the Yanks in the 1970′s are unknown to me. But I think I would get a kick out of seeing the Shane Spencers, Gerald Williams and Chuck Knoblauchs come back so we can show our appreciation.

    Hopefully some of Mark’s changes will come to fruition, but the true test will come after the “core-four” settle off into the sunset, and players like Pedro, Manny, Ortiz and Chipper retire – players that were one-time arch-nemesis’ of the Yanks during their recent glory days. Now that would be a sight to see.

  156. Jim EQ January 30th, 2010 at 10:57 am

    I loved this article. For years I have repeatedly told my kids about the hanging of the banners from the facade(sorry that is what we always called it). In fact, I recently bought a picture of the Old Stadium on EBAY because it had a view of a few banners. I was glad to see this year’s World Series DVD even had a short clip depicting the banners.

    As far as the players from other teams attending, I agree. I remember seeing Pepper Martin stealing second base ‘head first’ which was then a novelty in 1961. He must have been 50 or 60 at the time. I hope the Yankees do restore the tradition of inviting the stars from other teams. It’s their history too.

  157. Robert Blum January 30th, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Great Job! Might be a good idea to invite non-Yankees on, say, a 5 year mark rather than every year. Don’t forget part of being a Yankee for many role players includes coming to old timers day!

    Bob

  158. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! January 30th, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    ***********************

    Fran, that makes it even more fun! Wow.

    CC
    AJ
    Andy
    Javy
    Phil/Joba
    Javy
    Chad
    Sergio
    Ace

    Not bad pickins’!

  159. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! January 30th, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Again with the censor!

    Rich, my sister lives nearby and is also worried about my feeding habits because she is worried about “something” wandering into her yard.

  160. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! January 30th, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    A lot of people have mentioned it to me though. I used to feed them right on my deck and one of my friends was apoplectic about the possibility of the squirrels getting in my house. (I had to move their table once I had the deck painted; I got tired of cleaning up after them, especially since they actually managed to ruin the deck stain with their potent “by product”.)

  161. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! January 30th, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Since the biggest

  162. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! January 30th, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Since the biggest something

  163. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! January 30th, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Since the biggest something I’ve

  164. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! January 30th, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Since the biggest something I’ve seen

  165. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! January 30th, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    . Since the biggest something I’ve seen to

  166. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! January 30th, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Since the biggest something I’ve seen to date

  167. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! January 30th, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    Since the biggest something I’ve seen to date is

  168. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! January 30th, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Since the biggest something I’ve seen to date is a

  169. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! January 30th, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    . Since the biggest something I’ve seen to date is a rabbit, I’m not buying it.

  170. trisha - OPPC forever - (new lucky picture from last day at the old Stadium) BRING ON THE GHOSTS! January 30th, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Again with the censor!

    Rich, my sister lives nearby and is also worried about my feeding habits because she is worried about “something” wandering into her yard. Since the biggest something I’ve seen to date is a rabbit, I’m not buying it. A lot of people have mentioned it to me though. I used to feed them right on my deck and one of my friends was apoplectic about the possibility of the squirrels getting in my house. (I had to move their table once I had the deck painted; I got tired of cleaning up after them, especially since they actually managed to ruin the deck stain with their potent “by product”.)

    ***********************

    Fran, that makes it even more fun! Wow.

    CC
    AJ
    Andy
    Javy
    Phil/Joba
    Javy
    Chad
    Sergio
    Ace

    Not bad pickins’!

  171. David January 30th, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    I miss Bobby Murcer’s dual participation as player and commentator.

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